In Antoine Watteau’s painting The Love Lesson, a group of young people are sitting by a marble statue of a huddled nymph in a parkland setting. They are being entertained by a man with a Spanish guitar. One of the girls is breaking off roses and appears to strew petals over the group. The girl in the yellow dress has a notebook on her knee.
The Love Lesson is an example of a fête galante, a genre painting depicting a park landscape of sultry light and leafy greenery with people socialising together, a typical theme for the artist.
X-ray images show that Watteau painted The Love Lesson on a coach door bearing a coat of arms with two unicorns and the crown of a marquis.
Nationalmuseum acquired the work in 1953 by means of fundraising, donations from the Friends of Nationalmuseum and money from the museum’s funds.